All of Givenchy’s pressed powders have a unique “quilted squares” pattern that typically combines four or more complementary shades of powder in one sleek compact. This talc-based pressed powder displays the quilted pattern, and also happens to have an exceptionally smooth texture.
Its silkiness is enviable and the powder isn’t the least bit dry or dusty. The mix of four colors, when swirled together with your brush, creates a uniform flesh-toned shade when applied. There are four sets, ranging from pale, fleshy peach to soft bronze. All apply smoothly and offer a soft, satin-matte finish. Note that the Toffee Taffeta shade works great as a bronzer for medium to tan skin tones.
Of course, you don’t need to spend nearly this much money for a superior pressed powder, but if you choose to do so here, you’re not likely to be disappointed. This would earn our top rating if it did not contain fragrance and fragrance ingredients known to cause irritation. Although fragrance is a minor part of the formula, daily use of these types of ingredients can lead to skin that’s less able to look and act younger—ideally, minimal exposure to them is best.
Note: Housed in a slide-out compartment on the underside of the packaging is a flat, wide brush with a stubby handle. It’s an OK option for application, but a full-size, rounded powder, blush, or bronzer brush is preferred.
Talc, Nylon-12, Zinc Stearate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Diisostearyl Malate, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Disodium EDTA, Parfum (Fragrance), Lauroyl Lysine, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Linalool, Hydroxycitronellal, Benzyl Salicylate, BHT.
Strengths: Incredibly smooth powder textures that are easy to apply and enliven skin; great powder blush and bronzers.
Weaknesses: Expensive; most of the products are fragranced (some highly so); disappointing primer and mascaras; average concealers and highlighters; few options without shine (shine is definitely not for everybody).
Like Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, and Dior, Givenchy has established a global fashion empire that includes makeup and skin-care products (which are not reviewed at this time). While these French design companies know a great deal about fashion, their venture into makeup is more about style and packaging flamboyance than it is about the products' actual performance; that is, far more form than function.
Givenchy's sleek, chic packaging and designer prices are, for the most part, below par and not worthy of their cost. Adding to the less-than-stellar product selection is the fact that Givenchy products contain noticeable fragrance, which makes them even less desirable, at least for the long-term health of your skin. Fragrance (especially from multiple products worn at the same time) can cause irritation that hurts your skin's healing process and its ability to look and act younger.
Of course, there are some great products in this line, but despite our enthusiasm for them, they offer nothing that hasn't been done just as well (or better) by many other lines, whose prices aren't based on a couture fashion house's reputation. Still, if you're a Givenchy fan or a curious observer, you should know which products are worth your attention and which ones you can gloss over. Givenchy makeup is supposed to have something they refer to as "Prisme," which is meant to describe the prismatic, light-reflecting effect they've added to all of their products. You'll hear a lot from the Givenchy salespeople about the delicate interplay of color and light, but when you cut through the marketing mumbo jumbo, all that these products contain is shine, and it's the same shiny ingredients every other company in the world of makeup is using.
It's important to keep in mind that too much shine will only make the wrinkles you have look worse. While you'll hear that shine reflects light from wrinkles, you can easily dispel that notion by testing a shiny product over your wrinkles, and seeing how the shine makes them stand out, not soften.
Givenchy also carries on about the pigment technology they use, but it isn't unique to their brand. There are many different pigment technologies cosmetic formulators can use, and to one degree or another, all of them are responsible for the improvements we've seen in makeup over the past decade. Lines from L'Oreal to Giorgio Armani, Clinique, and Revlon all use modern pigment technology to create great makeup. In the end, choosing Givenchy is an option, but if you go that route, it's more important than ever (especially for your budget) to know the facts about what you're getting.
Note: The collection of Givenchy makeup reviewed on this site is representative of what's typically seen in U.S. Sephora stores that stock Givenchy.
For more information about Givenchy, call +33 (0) 1 73 02 60 00 or visit www.parfumsgivenchy.com.
The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.
Beautypedia cuts through the hype to bring you product insights and recommendations you won’t find anywhere else!